7 Formatting Steps to a Readable Blog
You've come up with a topic for your blog. The research is done. The piece has been written, revised, and edited to perfection. You know it's what your clients want, but is it user friendly? Will readers stay on the page?
They will if you use some formatting techniques to separate your content into easy-to-read chunks of information. Here are some tips to make your blog visually interesting and informative.
- Use Sub-headings: The easiest way to separate text in readable blocks is to bold sub-headings. They help web readers scan most of what they read to find the sub-topics that interest them the most. If the blog is longer than 500 to 600 words, using two or three text sizes for sub-headings can alleviate reader loss of interest.
- Keep Your Posts Narrow: Columns should be 75 to 80 characters wide. Narrow columns are easier to digest.
- Use Images & Graphs: Experts recommend that your post contain at least one piece of visual content such as an image, video, or info-graphic. Images add visual interest and depth to your post.
- Use Image Captions: When readers come to your blog post, the first thing they notice is the headline. Adding captions to your images helps hook visitors who aren't completely interested in reading the content. The caption should also relate to the content of the article. Image captions are as important as your headline so they shouldn't be neglected.
- Bulleted Lists: Adding bulleted lists to your blog:
- Keeps readers who scan interested.
- Makes your points stand out.
- Are more likely to be read.
- Use Short Paragraphs: Blog readers don't want long dense blocks of words; they want short bits of information that they can digest quickly and easily.
- Bold Text: An entire piece in bold would be too much, but using this technique to highlight important sentences accomplishes a lot. Occasionally bolding a complete or part of a sentence improves the experience for the reader and helps to keep them on the page.
Formatting the perfect blog post is easy and can be done in about 15 to 30 minutes. Using just one or two of these suggestions will turn a visually dull blog into one that captures readers and keeps them on the page. Interested readers will remember your name, refer you to others, call upon you when they need legal help, and help your business grow.
Roberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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